The recent snowstorm in the northeast has led the U.S. Government to acknowledge the benefits of employees working remotely. TechRepublic reports that "according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, about a third of the D.C. area employees at their office and the General Services Administration logged on to their agencies' mainframe computers, most likely from their homes. That's productivity that wouldn't have happened without teleworking capabilities."
Teleworkers can save the federal government a lot of money, and can do the same for a lot of businesses. So what is everyone so afraid of? In 2008, PCWorld published an article entitled "17 Telecommuting Disadvantages" which includes, among others, the following reasons:
Obviously, as with everything, telework has both advantages and disadvantages. The question is — which side wins out?
I think there are those people who have personalities that lend themselves very well to telecommuting. Other people are less blessed in this arena. I'm one of the latter. I find it difficult enough to manage people I'm sitting next to, much less people I rarely see. It also depends on the kind work you do.
When work is global, multicultural, multitimezone and multicompany, special project management challenges arise. If you work in such an environment, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org because I'm researching data for a book on this topic right now.
Curt Finch is the founder & CEO of a resource management software company.